Author Topic: Half an inch of panic  (Read 209607 times)

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Offline nacho

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2005, 04:51:45 PM »
Holy shit!  APA just fucking shut down.  Fed Government, too.  DC just fucking shut down!

There is NO SNOW on the ground.  What the fuck?

Anyway -- I'm out!

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2005, 04:55:47 PM »
See? Overreacting to miniscule amounts of snow does have it's it's benefits. You got out of work two hours early.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2005, 05:01:42 PM by RottingCorpse »

Offline monkey!

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2005, 05:20:52 PM »
Probably the best method is to take high-giving drugs... then open your wrists (long-wise: that's down the road, little Billy, NOT across the street) and get into a bath of warm water before the drugs kick in....

On a high=road to death.
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Offline Matt

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2005, 05:51:54 PM »
God, you easterners are pussies.

Offline monkey!

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2005, 06:33:47 PM »
Well, it's either that or commit suicide by hi-jacking a Boeing 747, and crashing it into a skyscraper killing 1000's with me.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2005, 06:47:02 PM »
Well, it's either that or commit suicide by hi-jacking a Boeing 747, and crashing it into a skyscraper killing 1000's with me.

That is so 2001.


Offline monkey!

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2005, 07:15:27 PM »
You're so dead later.
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Offline jreale

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2005, 09:43:37 PM »
Holy shit!  APA just fucking shut down.  Fed Government, too.  DC just fucking shut down!

There is NO SNOW on the ground.  What the fuck?

Anyway -- I'm out!

WHat?? You're fucking kidding me.  BTW, I don't even own a snowblower.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2005, 08:18:51 AM »
Two hours late today.  But it's PTO not admin leave, so I'm going to inch my way to the Metro at the regular time.

Check the snowcam to see that two inches can shut down DC.  Does the rest of the country understand that everything -- including the presidency -- stops cold at the four inch mark.  People complain about 9/11 and who was in charge.  We're even more out in the cold when there's a light snow. 

Offline nacho

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2005, 08:26:39 AM »
Trying to make it look fancy:

Quote


An inch of snow (not even) on the snowcam.  The Washington Post speaks out!


Quote
A Tissue Of Lies
When Snow Is in the Forecast, It's Not Toilet Paper That's on a Roll

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 6, 2005; C01

Let's put this whole milk-bread-and-toilet-paper myth to rest right here, right now.

You, sitting there all comfy and warm awaiting the first blanket of white, know exactly what we're talking about. Since time and TV weather forecasts began, milk, bread and toilet paper -- MBTP -- have been the media stars of every snowstorm, cliches wrapped in plastic.

Milk certainly qualifies. And bread, too. But toilet paper? Toilet paper doesn't really belong in the holy grocerial trinity of every snow panic.

MBTP are supposedly what everyone runs to the store for at the first sign of a flake or flurry. More than staple commodities, they are the supposed bench marks of the region's ability to "cope" with a few inches of snow. Look! gawp the TV weather people, zooming in on denuded supermarket shelves, as if a Dupont Circle supermarket had suddenly turned into a Soviet supply depot. It's not really snowing until someone reports a run on MBTP.

Only it might be a bit of an urban myth. Yesterday, after predictions of the season's first good storm, spokesmen for the Safeway and Giant grocery store chains said they saw plenty of evidence of hoarding and panic buying -- but no straight-to-the-top-of-the-sales-chart relationship among milk, bread and toilet paper.

Compared with a snowless Dec. 5 a year ago, milk and bread sales roughly doubled Monday at Safeway's 100 stores throughout the mid-Atlantic region, spokesman Greg Ten Eyck said. Those two products were among the chain's best sellers, he said. Then again, so were bacon, scrapple and eggs ("People are planning big breakfasts after the snow," he said), along with fruit, water, soda, infant formula, Kool-Aid and boneless chicken breasts.

And toilet paper? Ten Eyck checked with his company's sales department. "Toilet paper wasn't in the top 50 products" sold, he said.

Giant spokesman Barry Scher, too, said there was nothing special about his company's MBTP index. Everything was moving briskly, he said: bread, eggs, canned goods, luncheon meats, batteries, even -- go figure -- ice cream.

Scher is an old hand at this; he's been with Giant for 39 years. And it's always the same on snow days, he said. At the first media reports of an approaching storm, Giant starts laying in extra provisions of everything. "In Washington, people run for the hills the minute they hear about snow," he said. "They think they're going to be stuck in their house for days, and they're going to need provisions."

The media help stoke the frenzy. "The TV people always call me and want to do an interview," he said. "I tell them to use the interview they did with me five years ago, because there's not going to be anything new about this [storm] that wasn't true about the last one."

Even in places that get plenty of snow, there's nothing really noteworthy about toilet-paper sales. In such frosty Midwestern and Western states as Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico and Colorado, the big sellers are bread, milk, kitty litter, batteries and shovels, said Jeff Stroh, a spokesman for the Safeway division that represents that region. "Everyone can agree on bread and milk," he said, but beyond that "we don't have a top-three or -four list."

Stroh said there's a good reason why people don't necessarily need to hoard toilet paper before a storm -- because it's usually in abundant supply around the home. Think about it, he said: You run out of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread fairly quickly, and need to resupply at regular intervals. But toilet paper comes in humongous packages: 12-roll packs, 24-roll sizes, 48-roll monsters that could withstand a blizzard of gastrointestinal distress.

So if just about everything moves off the shelves before it snows, why does MBTP still enjoy so much ink and airtime? Why were they so closely linked in the first place?

It's possible that there's some kind of subliminal chromatic unity in MBTP and snow. The mind naturally links all that white stuff outside with all the white goods in the pantry. (Of course, if this were the case, you'd have to include eggs. And forget about rye, wheat or pumpernickel bread.)

Milk and bread are certainly good to have when there's nothing left in the cupboard. Symbolically, they're easy to decode. Bread is the host, the staff of life, a palpable object of survival. Milk is a no-brainer, too -- it's the sustenance that a mother provides an infant, a biblical promise ("a land flowing with milk and honey"), a smooth and nutritious foodstuff (except for the lactose-intolerant).

But toilet paper is harder to fit into this symbolic survival schema. It possibly represents some kind of talisman of civilization, a minimal luxury and comfort when the normal rhythms of civilization are disrupted. Think of the struggles of our hardy prairie forefathers, stuck out there on the frozen tundra, with nothing but milk, bread and the pages of the Sears, Roebuck catalogue to get them through another long winter. Not pleasant.

On the other hand, Scotch, chocolate and a good steak are pretty good minimal luxuries, too, and you don't hear half as much about them when it snows.

Offline Cassander

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2005, 10:21:35 AM »
ha! i was wearing shorts yesterday. 
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Offline jreale

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2005, 10:46:29 AM »

An inch of snow (not even) on the snowcam.  The Washington Post speaks out!

Taking on the tough issues: why toilet paper makes the top 3. 


Quote
Even in places that get plenty of snow, there's nothing really noteworthy about toilet-paper sales. In such frosty Midwestern and Western states as Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico and Colorado, the big sellers are bread, milk, kitty litter, batteries and shovels

Wow, not even I would stoop (heh) to using kitty litter. Yikes.
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Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2005, 02:51:33 PM »
Wow, not even I would stoop (heh) to using kitty litter. Yikes.

It's like grape nuts. Try it with milk.

Offline Matt

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2005, 03:50:50 PM »
Do you have to chop off your balls to live out east? Honestly. A real snow emergency is getting pounded by three feet of the stuff and little Bobby and little Susie disappear in the snow when you send them off to the bus.

Offline nacho

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Re: Half an inch of panic
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2005, 04:14:14 PM »
It's not the whole east, it's the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast region. 

I think DC suffers a bit more dramatically because 99% of the population lives in the suburbs and has to drive/walk/train (often all three) into the city on a road and rail network built to handle a tenth of the current population.

Maybe my figures are wrong.  550,000 live in DC, 4-5 million in the suburbs.  The Beltway and major roadways date from, what, the 1960's, and Metro dates from the 1980's.  The population then was 1-2 million.  No major work on the infrastructure has been done since then, just a constant slew of improvements on the various "mixing bowls." 
So take that sort of environment and sprinkle a tiny bit of ice over it.